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Good freelance writers understand that persuasive copy has only seconds to attract a prospective customer's attention. One way to have more of an impact is to do what British copywriter Dave Nolan calls "thinking like a Saxon" -- using short, punchy words (many of which have Saxon roots) rather than long ones. So "Eliminate" becomes "End," "upon completion" becomes "when your job is done," etc.
Why? There's a surprising number of people for whom reading is a chore -- they know how, but they don't enjoy it. Even if reading comes easily for your target audience, they are likely to be pressed for time, and the more of their time they have to spend sorting out your ideas, the harder it will be for them to have an emotional reaction to your appeals.
Even in long pieces, you'll turn more readers into customers with simple language, short sentences and paragraphs, and a clear call to action -- "go to our Web site", "ask your doctor today", "vote on Nov. 7" or the simplest of all, "buy now."
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|